Foden's Band

The origin of the Foden's Band goes back to 1900 when the village of Elworth and Sandbach in Cheshire held a celebration after the Relief of Mafeking during the Boer War. Various local bands including the Sandbach Volunteer Brass Band and the Wheelock Temperance Band took part but were delayed by the generosity of a local landlord who offered them free drinks. 
Things didn't quite go to plan as when the bands were due to march to Elworth they decided to take advantage of the free drinks and stayed in Sandbach rather than march to Elworth for the return leg of the march. Outraged at being let down by the bands, a group of prominent members of Elworth decided to form their own band for such occasions and so the Elworth Band (later the Elworth Silver Band) was formed.

Unfortunately, a difference of opinion about performances in the area to celebrate the Coronation of King Edward VII on 26th June 1902 (postponed to 9th August 1902) again meant the disbandment of the Elworth Band only to be resurrected by Edwin Foden of the local Steam Wagon Works. Now under the name Foden Motor Waggon Works Band (later the Foden Motor Wagon Works Band and finally the Foden Motor Works Band) they had modest ambitions for the first few years, but in 1908 after a fundamental reorganisation had taken place, they achieved Championship Section status, a prestigious position that as been maintained ever since. 
The band has been delighted to play by Royal Command on four occasions: in 1913 by King George V and Queen Mary on a visit to Crewe, in 1938 at Windsor Castle for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and again in 1940 this time at the Crewe Alexandra Football Ground in Cheshire. Most recently in 1983, the band had the honour of playing for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

In wartime the band toured Europe for ENSA (1939 - 1945) and in peacetime they toured Canada, South Africa and Israel. By the 1980's, lorry making in Sandbach was on a downward turn and the company which had for many years sponsored the band sold its assets in 1980 to the Paccar Company of Seattle (USA). They decided that the band were a great asset to the company and decided to keep its sponsorship going. Two years later, it was a different story. Now renamed the Sandbach Engineering Company, they told Allan Littlemore (Band Manager) that they had decided to withdraw funding for the famous brass band on 31st December 1982.
With national coverage of the situation and an appeal by Harry Mortimer for a saviour, the band's prayers were answered by Richard Carlton Tickell who had seen the coverage and decided to do something about it. As owner of OTS (Overseas Technical Service), he took over the sponsorship of the band and the Fodens OTS Band were back in business. His involvement was short lived, as he died on 14th December 1983 and his family inherited the band. However, due to problems with the company in 1986, they decided that funding would cease and a new sponsor had to be found. 
In July, the band accepted sponsorship from the Britannia Building Society becoming the Britannia Building Society Foden's Band. However, after a member of the public at a concert at Dunham Massey standing next to Managing Director Michael Shaw of the Britannia Building Society said that she had always enjoyed listen to the "Foden's Band", it was considered that the name of Foden over rode the sponsor's name and so it was decided to drop it while they sponsored the band.

The band has maintained its position as one of the country's leading bands, becoming BBC Band of the Year in 1990 & 1992 and European Champions in 1992, French Open Champions in 1998, along with becoming All England Masters Champions in 1990, 1992, 1994 & 1995. In 1997, the band accepted new sponsorship from the French instrument manufacturer Antoine Courtois that also allowed the band to use its original name of Foden's. 

Foden's Band have been very successful over the years, winning some of brass banding's most prestigious competitions, including:

Brass in Concert:
1982, 1988, 1990, 1998, 2000 & 2009

British Open:
1909, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1915, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1964, 2004, 2008, 2012 & 2023

National Championships of Great Britain:
1910, 1930, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1950, 1953, 1958, 1999, 2012, 2018, 2021 & 2022

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Foden's Band